[openbeos] Re: Icon Design Contest

  • From: Michael Phipps <mphipps1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 05 Aug 2006 11:51:18 -0400

Curtis Wanner wrote:

Charlie Clark wrote:
So, the whole idea is pointless?

Personally I didn't take that from his response. There's a difference between being innovative and having a unique style.

Yes there is. I sort of mean both. Certainly Be's icons had/have a unique style. They were also innovative within the field.

While this is certainly not the place for an extensive debate on pictogram
design (icon is actually being incorrectly >used in this context) there is
no need to be defeatist.

Actually I believe this has been the point of the contest and the existing
discussions.  I believe the only defeatism is if we don't come up with
guidelines because we haven't come up with something that smacks us in the
head as being innovative.

I wasn't trying to create guidelines. I was trying to suggest and encourage. I mean - you could take any one of the icons from the submitted sets and substitute it with any of the same type of icon from any of the other sets (i.e. replace stippi's "People" icon with any other "People" icon) and it wouldn't look out of place. That is a huge clue that the sets are all pretty much the same.

As far as there not being anything new possible, I can't agree. I don't think that anyone out there is DOING anything different right now, but that is very typical in most fields of human endeavour - there are trends and "ruts". That is, IMHO, where icons are.

Now, I am not an artist, to say the least, but here are some radically different ideas. I am not sure if they are valuable or would look good, but...

2D icons with a little thickness (think suncatchers lying on a table)
Photo realistic icons, possibly modified with some effect (solarized?)
Darker color schemes, to be not quite so cartoon-like
More pastel colors instead of vivid
Framed icons with faux-3d symbols bursting through the middle
Animated icons are interesting, but space concerns...
Rotating 3d models of icons (!!!)

To be pedantic: there was a major shift in European 2D art with the
introduction of linear perspective in the >renaissance which is why
Hieronymus Bosch's pictures are now so disturbingly enigmatic.

But you wouldn't apply it to an OS interface.  It's one thing to talk about
regular art and another about an OS interface which has usability

Sure. Likewise, Dali and Picasso are (more modern) examples of new thinking in art that we may well not want to apply to icons. Although, Dali icons would be interesting. :-)

But to the matter in hand. To state that it is impossible to come up with
something new for Haiku is both stating the >obvious as well as missing the
point. I don't think Michael is asking for an entirely new semiotic system,
simply a >recasting of the existing symbolic base in a more Haiku-centric

I disagree, Michael said he would like to see something innovative -
"introducing a new idea".  I don't think you even have to picky about terms
to understand that innovation is MORE than just being unique or distinctive.

Would you say that Be's icons are innovative? I would. That is what I am thinking of when I say innovative.

I think there is a lot to be said for retaining the isometric style but
infusing it with a bit more Haiku flavour but >this is certainly not the
only possibility.

Again I wouldn't call this innovation, just a unique or distinctive style.
As for being innovative, this would require a change in the interaction of
the WIMP interface or a completely new interface itself.

Which I am not opposed to, either, but not right now. :-)

If you are picky about terms (i.e. icon, pictogram), your use of isometric
isn't correct either.  They actually use what is referred to as a dimetric
projection or 3/4 perspective.

I did not know that. Thanks for the info.

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